Resurrection Week: FRIDAY
Lexi Campbell (12th Grade, Homeschool)
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. John 19:28-29
Go ahead. Ask around. No one will deny that death on a cross is a horrible way to go.
No, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. Crucifixion was the highest form of punishment in the ancient Roman Empire, and is still considered one of the worst forms of torture devised by man. Before and during this brutal punishment, prisoners sustained massive blood loss due to excessive beating and severing of arteries.
This blood loss caused severe dehydration. After this merciless torture, Jesus was probably barely able to speak. Psalm 22:15, a prophetic psalm pointing to Jesus’s death, describes it like this – “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth”.
So Jesus definitely wasn’t kidding when he said he was thirsty.
But what did the roman soldiers give him? Vinegar. Jesus was expecting this, though. Psalm 68:22, another prophetic psalm, foresaw it, saying “they gave me vinegar for my drink”. Jesus asked for the drink to fulfill that prophesy.
It’s possible that Jesus was offered two different drinks while he was on the cross, one earlier as recorded by Matthew (27:48) and Mark (15:36) and one later as recorded by John. The first appears to have been laced with something to deaden his pain. This he refused. The drink described by John appears to be different, a vinegar or wine/vinegar drink which he drank, allowing him to speak.
But despite the dehydration and the bitter vinegar, Jesus kept his dignity, refusing to take any pain reducing shortcut, and even made two more statements before his death. Like Jesus, it is hard to obey God’s will. Though our lives can get difficult, they can’t get any more difficult than Jesus’. Even after being beaten and crucified, after being given bitter vinegar to satisfy his thirst, he still remained true to his mission until the end. So, no matter what obstacles come in our way, we must learn to trust God and persevere.